Under the Russian Trade Secrecy Law, trade secrets are a regime
of confidential information, which enables the holder of such
information under existing or possible circumstances to increase
income, avoid unreasonable expenses, maintain its position in
markets for goods, or obtain other commercial benefits. Information
which constitutes a trade secret is defined as information of any
kind (including products of human intellect and information on how
to carry out a professional activity), which is valuable (or
potentially valuable) because it is nonpublic information.
Disclosure of such information is defined as any act or omission
resulting in that information becoming known to a third party
without the consent of its holder or in breach of contract.
Prior to the amendment of the Russian Criminal Code, traditional
remedies included the right to terminate an employee who has
illegally disclosed a trade secret under Article 81(6)(c) of the
Russian Labor Code, and to seek damages under Article 11 of the
Russian Trade Secret Law.
The main types of damages for disclosure of trade secrets
include direct losses and loss of profits and other consequential
losses, such as a reduction in a company's client base
resulting from a theft of the client database or otherwise.
Now, a trade secret owners' remedies have increased with the
following amendments to the Russian Criminal Code in order to
prevent illegal disclosure of trade secrets:
Gathering trade secrets in any
illegal way, whether by the theft of documents, bribery, threats or
otherwise, shall be punishable by a fine of 500,000 Russian rubles
("RUR") or equal to the wages received during a period of
up to one year by the person convicted of such offense.
(Previously, the figures were RUR 80,000 and wages for a period of
one to six months, respectively.)
Any illegal disclosure or use of a
trade secret without the consent of its holder shall be punishable
by a fine of RUR 1,000,000 or equal to the wages received during a
period of up to two years by the person convicted of such offense.
(Previously, the figures were RUR 120,000 and wages for a period of
one year, respectively)
Any such offense causing major damage
or committed with a view to pecuniary gain shall be punishable by a
fine of RUR 1,500,000 or equal to the wages received during a
period of up to three years by the person convicted of that
offense. (Previously, the figures were RUR 200,000 and wages for a
period of 18 months, respectively).
The above measures to toughen the law show that the Russian
legislators are attempting to find effective ways to prevent
illegal disclosure of trade secrets.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the CJEU ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another website does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain.
The chapter on the UK summarises the IP court and litigation system in the UK, recent developments in relation to IP law and practice, the forms and availability of IP protection and trends and outlook in the IP sphere.
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